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Dallas' Beta Blockers Trying to Stop Dow Jones-Rupert Murdoch Deal

The big-money men at Dallas' Beta Capital Group are trying to scrape together enough spare change to stop Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal takeover.

Word was only 10 days ago that Rupert Murdoch had succeeded in his efforts to buy The Wall Street Journal from Dow Jones & Co. -- for five billion, give or take. Turned out that was mere rumor, but the paper's publisher is still mulling over the deal with News Corp. -- only, at least one member of the Bancroft family, which has a controlling interest in Dow Jones, wants to put a stop to it. And looks like he might be doing it with Dallas dough.

Says here that Christopher Bancroft "has launched his own crusade to block the deal" between Dow Jones and Murdoch's News Corp. Turns out, Bancroft's one of the big-money men behind a local private-equity firm that's looking for pennies in the couch cushions.

Bruce Leadbetter, a partner with Mr. Bancroft in Dallas private-equity firm Beta Capital Group, said Friday the group has been trying to help Mr. Bancroft raise the funds he needs to obtain a blocking share, but he characterized the effort as "a real long shot." Mr. Leadbetter said the time frame for trying to raise the money and make an offer matching News Corp.'s ... bid was a matter of days.

I don't know much about Beta Capital Group, but I do recall that in in 2001, the seven wealthy businessmen who make up the firm were going to start Patriot Air out of Love Field. How'd that work out again? --Robert Wilonsky

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